I wrote this a few years ago, but feel a strong need to read it again as we care for my almost 96 year old mother-in-law, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, and who has lived with us for over three years now.
Care-giving families are under so much stress. And we are grieving as we give care. We need God’s grace raining down on us to do this. We need to be abundantly covered in prayer.
And I need to hear my Mama’s wisdom once more. The three little words she said, when she was deep into dementia, and didn’t know us anymore. Yet she somehow knew the words we needed. Or maybe God said them through her. Oh how I wish I could hug her right now…
April 29, 2016
Sometimes I truly believe God speaks His wisdom through Mama, despite her severe dementia, and sends me the words I need to hear…
It has been such a hard week. Without going into details, let me just say, that when a family is sharing caregiving responsibilities, people can feel over worked and overwhelmed. And when we see a loved one declining emotions run strong, and sometimes too loudly.
Even the most loving people can disagree about what needs to happen when and how, and what is best for all concerned. And sometimes people speak in the stress of it all and say things they don’t really mean. And backs and bodies can be injured moving Mama and feelings can be injured by attitudes and words.
Sometimes you cry the whole drive to church and wonder if you should even go in to offer worship to God when you know there is a whole wall of hurt between you and a family member that needs to come down and the weight of it all sits on your heart.
And I’m thankful for my wise husband, who sympathizes with me, but urges me to give grace. And reminds me of the stress we’re all under and the grieving we are all going through. And he says to me, “The important thing is to keep loving each other.” And keep forgiving. And don’t let Satan win ground here. And I know he is right.
So some of us apologized. And talked. And we cried and hugged each other. And others of us somehow found a wordless peace.
And then my daughter texted last night, as she was putting Mama to bed.
And the text read, “Grandma says…’Keep the love.’”
And my eyes misted and my heart warmed. And I felt like God was advising me through my Mama once again.
Keep the love.
What perfect words.
Yes, Mama, with God’s help we will. You raised a loving family. And you nurtured us well. And you poured love into your children and grandchildren. You filled us up, Mama.
And I pray that through all these challenges we won’t lose a drop of that love. I pray rather that our love will grow stronger, for God and each other. And that He will help us persevere through the hard stuff. And I pray that His love will fill us to overflowing and spill out so all around us know His love.
And I pray that you feel and know that love, Mama. I pray that you know how cherished and honored you are.
And with God’s help, we will keep the love, until we are all gathered together again for eternity.